Sundays are board games days at my house! Two of our hot favourites? Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan.
Guess what? They are both made by the same French company, Asmodee. Asmodee owns the English language rights to Settlers of Catan. So it can make and sell English versions of the game. It probably has to pay a license fee to Catan GmbH. This means that it probably has to pay a part of its revenues from Catan sales to the company that owns the game, Catan GmbH.
Who invented Settlers of Catan? Klaus Teuber, a German dental technician. A dental technician is someone who works with and helps the dentist. He hated his job and wanted to design games, and then in 1995, created Settlers, one of the most popular and successful games of our time! There are apparently more than 80 versions of this game! He and his family run and manage Catan GmbH, the company that owns Settlers of Catan and other board games that Teuber came up with. Their website says that more than 27 million units of Settlers of Catan have been sold worldwide, in 39 languages, through their licensing partners (board game publishers like Asmodee)!
Asmodee it a board game ‘publisher’ – they make the board games and digital versions, and sell them in different geographies that are covered in their license. In the past, they had bought many popular games, such as Dixit and Days of Wonder (Ticket to Ride), and they sell these as well. They had revenues of GBP 442 million (British Pounds), or approximately 497 million Euros last year.
Why are we talking about this? An investment firm wants to buy Asmodee for a record 1.4 billion Euros! That’s about 2.8 times the revenue it got from selling its games last year.
Why would they want to do this? They probably believe that there’s a lot more that they can do with the games that Asmodee makes – maybe there are new geographical areas (new countries) that they think they can expand into. As you know, these games are all available as apps as well, on the App Store and the Google Play stores. Perhaps they think that there is still a lot that they can do here – maybe more worlds they can introduce, and more in-app purchases?
What does this mean for you and me? Let’s see if we can look forward to new versions and more fun games from Asmodee, if they have more money to invest in their business.
Written by: Sunaina Murthy. Sunaina is a biotechnologist, writer, greedy reader, and amateur photographer.